John Brown's Birthplace
Catherine Pelletier Avallone
One of the most famous abolitionists in America was John Brown, whose armed raid on the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, in 1859 for the purpose of ending slavery, foreshadowed the government's war two years later to achieve the same end. Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1800 at this site. The house was destroyed by fire in 1918, but the property is maintained by the John Brown Association. The image of Brown's house is incorporated in the City of Torrington's seal. Pikes used by John Brown and his men in the Harper's Ferry raid were made by the Collins Company, located in Collinsville section of Canton. The Canton Historical Museum has one of these pikes on display.